A Holiday Grudge

Holiday blues are a common occurrence even among the mentally sound. In me they provoke a particularly virulent strain of pathological envy. I am jealous at others for having a family, or for being able to celebrate lavishly, or for being in the right, festive mood. My cognitive dissonances crumble. I keep telling myself: "look at those inferior imitations of humans, slaves of their animated corpses, wasting their time, pretending to be happy". Yet, deep inside, I know that I am the defective one. I realize that my inability to rejoice is a protracted and unusual punishment meted out to me by my very self. I am sad and enraged. I want to spoil it for those who can. I want them to share my misery, to reduce them to my level of emotional abstinence and absence.

I hate humans because I am unable to be one.

A long time ago, I wrote:

"I hate holidays and birthdays, including my birthday. It is because I hate it when other people are happy if I am not the cause of it. I have to be the prime mover and shaker of EVERYONE's moods. And no one will tell me HOW I should feel. I am my own master. I feel that their happiness is false, fake, forced. I feel that they are hypocrites, dissimulating joy where there is none. I feel envious, humiliated by my envy, and enraged by my humiliation. I feel that they are the recipients of a gift I will never have: the ability to enjoy life and to feel joy.

And then I do my best to destroy their mood: I bring bad news, provoke a fight, make a disparaging remark, project a dire future, sow uncertainty in the relationship, and when the other person is sour and sad, I feel relieved.

It's back to normal. My mood improves dramatically and I try to cheer her up. Now if she does cheer up - it is REAL. It is my doing. I controlled it.

And I controlled HER."


Holidays remind me of my childhood, of the supportive and loving family I never had, of what could have been, and never was, and, as I grow older, I know, will never be. I feel deprived and, coupled with my rampant paranoia, I feel cheated and persecuted. I rail against the indifferent injustice of a faceless, cold world. Holidays are a conspiracy of the emotional haves against the emotional haves not.

Birthdays are an injury, an imposition, a reminder of vulnerability, a fake event artificially construed. I destroy in order to equalize the misery. I rage in order to induce rage. Holidays create in me an abandon of negative, nihilistic emotions, the only ones I consciously possess.

On holidays and on my birthday, I make it a point to carry on routinely.

I accept no gifts, I do not celebrate, I work till the wee hours of the night. It is a demonstrative refusal to participate, a rejection of social norms, an "in your face" statement of withdrawal. It makes me feel unique. It makes me feel even more deprived and punished. It feeds the furnace of hatred, the bestial anger, the all engulfing scorn I harbour. I want to be drawn out of my sulk and pouting - yet, I decline any such offer, evade any such attempt, hurt those who try to make me smile and to forget. In times like that, in holidays and birthdays, I am reminded of this fundamental truth: my voluptuous, virulent, spiteful, hissing and spitting grudge is all I have. Those who threaten to take it away from me - with their love, affection, compassion, or care - are my mortal enemies indeed.



next: Ideas of Reference

APA Reference
Vaknin, S. (2008, December 19). A Holiday Grudge, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Last Updated: July 2, 2018

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info